Bucharest City Hall and the Federation of Romanians Abroad embark on row over August 10 rally

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While the Bucharest City Hall says the rally of the Diaspora is approved, the Federation of Romanians Abroad announces it will not organize the meeting anymore. The Bucharest City Hall accused the organizers they try to induce the idea that it has got a negative response from authorities although the rally has already the go-ahead.

The Bucharest City Hall has recorded an address sent on August 1, 2018 by e-mail, through which the Federation of Romanians Abroad informed that it had given up organizing the meeting on August 10 in Victoriei Square. Through this letter, the Federation is knowingly ignoring the fact the rally has been authorized, as it has been publicly announced and is trying to induce the idea that it has got a negative response (…) The Bucharest City Hall has approved the meeting, finding the solution for the participants’ safety: as the request referred to a meeting with 1 million participants in Victoriei Square, which could not host such a large number of people, the consent came only after we decided to extend the space destined for the above-mentioned public gathering,” reads a press release issued by the Bucharest City Hall.

In retort, the president of the Federation of the Romanians Abroad, Emanuel Cioaca told Digi24 that the federation had received no official information nor an official email regarding the approval of the rally.

We asked for the annulment of the authorization on July 31 for we have got no confirmation from the Bucharest City Hall, no official mail, information. This rally was approved on TV, there was a press release, but we haven’t got any signed and stamped protocol. We cannot assume to organize this rally in the absence of a protocol. We called at the city hall, but they didn’t want to give me a signed document,” Emanuel Cioaca said.

The leader of the Federation of the Romanians Abroad explained that calling off the city hall’s permit doesn’t mean the rally is cancelled, but just they are giving up being the organizers. Cioaca says there are other organizations filing new requests to organized the rally and they can take over the permit, adding that he and the other members of the Federation will attend the rally as private individuals.

Two weeks ago, the Mayor of Bucharest, Gabriela Firea, approved the Diaspora rally on August 10, where the organizers announced the presence of one million people. “Following a working meeting with the representatives of all institutions responsible for order, public peace and security – the Prefecture of Bucharest, the Bucharest Police Directorate, the Traffic Police Brigade, the Local Police, the Gendarmerie, the Romanian Intelligence Service (SRI), the RATB, the Ambulance Service in Bucharest- Ilfov, the Emergency Situations Inspectorate (ISU), as well as representatives of the departments of the City Hall with attributions in this field – the Mayor of Bucharest, Gabriela Firea, has approved the request of the Romanian Federation of Everywhere to organize a protest rally in Victoriei Square on August 10, 2018, to which 1 million people are announced to participate,” a communiqué from the Bucharest City Hall read two weeks ago.

Initially, the Bucharest City Hall rejected the request filed by the Federation of the Romanians Abroad to stage a meeting in the Capital on August 10. The rally, entitled “All Romanians are coming to Bucharest on August 10!#diasporaacasa”, became viral since it has been announced on Facebook more than a month ago. The Capital City Hall invoked that the meeting would violate an article of the Law 60/1991 republished on the organization and development of public gatherings.

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